The Benefits of Building a Strong Community in Your Rental Properties | Nashville Property Management

Lee Blackburn

If you rent out multifamily properties, it’s a good idea to think about those properties as communities, rather than just buildings or developments. Tenants are hungry for a sense of belonging. They want to feel like they’re at home, even when they’re renting. They feel more valued and appreciated when there’s a strong sense of community where they live. 

Venn Neighborhoods conducted a study that was released last year which showed that renters are willing to pay more for a great rental experience

The study revealed that things like hardwood floors and granite counters aren’t nearly as important to renters as a strong sense of community. In fact, over 80 percent of the 1,500 multi-family renters surveyed reported that they wanted to live in a neighborhood with local businesses, and around 75 percent of those surveyed said they wanted to be more social with their neighbors. 

Check out the full survey results here. What we really found interesting is that when tenants have friends or acquaintances in their building or their neighborhood, they’re one and a half times more likely to renew their lease agreement

There are several benefits to building a strong community in your rental properties. Here’s why it’s important. 

What Are the Benefits of Strong Rental Communities?

Strong communities provide a number of personal benefits for your residents. They’ll be happier, more fulfilled, and socially engaged. This is good for physical, mental, and emotional health. 

There are benefits to you, as the rental property owner, as well. Here they are:

  • Lower turnover and vacancy costs

When you create a strong community within your rental property, you create the type of conditions and lifestyles that tenants gravitate toward. They’ll find the connections they make with their neighbors meaningful. As neighbors become friends, it will be hard to leave. You can expect more lease renewals and higher retention numbers.  

Longer residencies, of course, are good for your income. Vacancies are expensive, and turnovers are even more expensive when you factor in the maintenance and the improvements. When retaining tenants is a priority for you, it’s important that they feel like they’re at home. 

  • Less conflict to manage

We don’t know any landlords who enjoy mediating disputes and conflicts between tenants. Good news: With a strong sense of community, tenants will be kinder towards each other. Your own relationships with your tenants will be easier, and their relationships with each other will be better. Create a safe space where tenants are willing to talk to each other. Establishing a community at your rental property will make it more difficult for tenants to be aggressive and unpleasant with one another. 

  • A strong community is good for marketing to new tenants

A strong community where everyone gets along is an excellent marketing tool, especially when you consider the data we mentioned at the beginning of this piece. Tenants are intentional about finding their community. When your prospective tenants come for a showing or an open house, they’ll get an immediate sense of the community that’s been built, and they’ll be drawn to it. This is a great way to market your property and attract new residents.  Advertise the availability of events such as socials, potlucks, movie nights, and whatever else you have going on. 

  • Tenants support your property’s maintenance needs

Tenants will want to maintain the community they love. You can expect your tenants to do a better job of taking care of their own home and the property in general when they feel like there’s community support and companionship. 

Making repairs and taking care of preventative maintenance will always be your responsibility as an owner, but in a strong community, you’ll have residents who want to participate in taking care of their homes. They’ll keep it clean, they’ll make the necessary and minor repairs, and they won’t hesitate to let you know when something needs attention. All of this leads to better protection of your investment and its condition. 

Three Tips for Successful Community-Building

You’re a real estate investor, not a community organizer. But you know that a strong community is important for the success of your rental properties and the happiness and satisfaction of your residents. 

Here are three easy strategies you can use to make tenants feel like they’re living in a community. Try them:

  • Plan Social Events at the Community

Parties are always popular. And, one of the best ways to create a sense of community is to organize social events and gatherings for your residents. You can offer holiday parties where everyone brings a dish, plan a cookout once the weather is nice, and invite everyone to a common area to watch the big game, the election returns, or the latest and most popular Netflix show. Trivia nights are popular as are morning coffee gatherings. These events provide an opportunity for your tenants to interact with one another and develop relationships that can lead to long-term friendships. You can even create a community calendar or a newsletter to keep your tenants updated on these events.

You don’t have to be the cruise director, here. Appoint someone who is interested in event planning.

  • Make Common Areas Welcoming and Inviting

Another powerful way to enhance the sense of community in your rental properties is to create shared gathering spaces where your tenants can interact. This could include a community garden or a courtyard, a playground, or a barbecue area. Inside, you might have space for a meeting room or a lounge. You could set some space aside for an art studio or a card room. Creating such spaces enhances the sense of community by encouraging tenants to engage with each other and creating a shared sense of pride in the property.

  • Invite Tenants to Participate

Be inclusive. Encourage tenant participation so that everyone feels like they belong. You can create a tenant association or a volunteer social committee. There are bound to be people in your property who are interested in community-building initiatives. Communication is key to creating a sense of community. Regularly communicate with your tenants through newsletters, notice boards, and even social media.

Talk to Property ManagerThis can help you be a better landlord. If you’d like to talk through additional options, please contact us at Omni Realtors & Property Management.